Since August 2009, we have formalised responsible tourism trainings to trekking and city guides. To date, two trainings have been completed, one on 30 Aug 2009 and the other on 15 Dec 2009. This is also on a constant improvement plan. We have the report from the first training and a training document from the second
1: Introduction from Raj Dai.
2: Introduction from Guides.
After introduction from Guides, Raj Dai started with the introduction with the six values of Socialtours and how it applies while being on Trek. And there was a discussion between guides on this issue and had some couple of good example from the Guides.
Comments from Guides.
• About Trainings for the Guides.
There should be a communication flow between all the staffs when training or any event is going to be held. If there's any email or telephone enquiry from TAAN, NTB or from any other organization about trainings and which could be useful for our guides Tassi should let me know about this things, that I could pass this message to our guides if they are interested to participate in this kind of trainings.
• Medical issue.
On this issue our Guide Nima had some comments saying that while taking medicines in the mountains the local people ask for medicines for their personal propose so we did had a discussion on it weather to give it or not… And Raj Dai had his own view on this issue and some other guides too share their view on it. And the another point was, he told that he bought medicines which was not in the medical kit box and he too said that the company didn’t accept the bill after buying these medicines.. On that issue I told him that you have to submit the bill to me and I have to let my directors to know about it and needs a approval for this bill.
• Trekking Budget
On this issue Guides had their own view… Saying that the price has been increasing every year in the trekking Area and again its going to be increased by 20% this year, And the company budget hasn't been increased, But some guides too said that that they could run the trip on this budget too but there should be some criteria on choosing food and about tea there should be only 3 cups of tea served for a day and no dessert or soups. On this issue Raj Dai has his own view saying that we sell this trip about a year ago so we have to set every thing but he too said that he will check it out once…he too said that its all about the competition market these days but he still said that he will check it out once and discuss with his team about it..
• About Cultural Programme.
Our Guide Nhono had his own view saying that he had to pay for the Cultural Programme performance around Tamang heritage trail. And I told him, that was your weak point that you couldn't brief well on your trek briefing cause there are no such activities included in the package on trekking. Raj Dai too share his view saying that it's not a way to promote cultural programme, he too said that he/she should be lucky to see such programmes or should organize trip specially focused on feast and festivals.
• Introduction with Guides
• Introduction with the Six Values of Socialtours.com
• Discussion with the six values of Socialtours with the guides and how to applied while being on Trek
• Introduction with Responsible Tourism.
• Discussion on Responsible tourism with the Guides, and how to apply while being on trek
• Six Values of socialtours.com
1. All business that socialtours & socialtreks.com does if followed on this six values.
Respect for every individual
Businesses are like families. Every person has a different role to play that when played well, creates a happy family. Every individual deserves respect and each and every issue that a person has requires special attention.
1. Do Respect every individual from your inner heart.
2. Respect your clients, staffs supporters, hotel owners, local people their culture and costumes.
3. Do greet every single with a smile.
4. Respect is a two way process.
Honesty & integrity
Honesty and integrity are always the best policies and will inevitably pay dividends. An open, honest business makes steady progress.
1. Honesty is the best policy.
2. Always be punctual with time and do give the right information to your clients. if you don't know then just say I don't know beside giving wrong information
Continued excellence in delivery
Quality should never to be compromised and can always be improved on. It is the strongest marketer of products and the only element that can create a lasting impression.
1. Continuous improvement.
2. Quality is long term.
eg.. Chola pass (jangbu sherpa)
Social responsibility of business
without the support of society a business cannot survive. Giving back to society is the only way a business can fulfill this commitment. Every business has a commitment towards society as a whole.
1. Region wise project.
Money is never the only goal
Profits have to be made but never by means that go against our values. Making a business successful is a Dharma (a spiritual good) for society and results in a good Karma.
The importance of environmental conservation
the environment is our greatest asset and needs preservation. Exploiting nature is short term and yields unsustainable dividends whereas protecting nature is long term and yields sustainable dividends.
• What is Responsible Tourism?
1. Do not purchase Plastic water Bottles it just destroys the environment and is not recycled in Nepal.
2. Do recommend your clients and other tourist to use (Iodine) water purification tablet instead of buying water bottles.
3. Do stop at Safe drinking water stations and let your clients know about it.
4. If you are not used to with (Iodine) just ask your hotel owner for a hard boiled water paying a little amount of money.
• Energy Reduction.
1. Do order same kind of meal while being in the trek. it just save your time and your meals comes at the same time and the another things is it saves fire wood and supports to control deforestation.
2. Do suggest your clients when the shower is only heated by the renewal energy source.
• waste management
1. Pick up your litter as you could.
2. Do not order foods made up of with plastic and tin cans cause it is not recycled in Nepal, instead order local food where the locals get benefited and employed. This includes water bottles coke except glass bottle.
1. Do not buy souvenir made from endangered species, it just encourage the trade.
2. Do not disturb wildlife.
• General etiquette.
How strict is this guide line: (discussion with group)
1. Take off your shoes while entering someone's house.
2. Do not point out with your feet to any one.
3. Do not touch others head
4. Public displays of affection, such as kissing and hugging are considered offensive.
5. Do not handle anybody else's food, or drink from another's glass.
6. You might see two boys holding hand or two girls holding hand, don't think that you had expected, they just seems to be a very good friends in Nepal.
• Religious etiquette
1. Always ask permission before entering a temple or a monastery.
2. Please take off your shoes before entering temple or monastery.
3. Always pass the prayer wheels on the clock hand side.
• Dress code
1. In the cities people are getting more westernized but while being in the villages Dress as not to attract attention to your self.
1. Be polite and always ask permission before taking a photograph.
• Donation & Gifts
1. The giving of sweets and money doesn't help for a long term.
2. If you are interested on donating and gifts go through the local community development project whereas it will go to the right hands.
1. If your clients are interested on buying souvenir please suggest them to buy locally made crafts and support local skills.( continued excellence)
1. Bargaining for a lower price is accepted hear in Nepal but don't drive a hard bargain for a sake of it.
1. While being in Nepal try local food and help local community to support with their economy.
2. Guides can always help promoting local foods which are not based on menu.
3. Seasonality of food. ( What is allowed?)
• Things to discuss with guides.
• Trekking Budget
• Medical issue
• Cultural Program
• About upcoming trainings from TAAN and other organizations.
• Communication with socialtours (status, budget, safety)
• Reducing no of days.
• Offseason clean up trek and awareness camp ( UP)
Question and Answer session…
• Do you feel any difference between working with socialtour and with other companies? if yes please specify it.
• How often do you follow RT values while being on trek?
• Have you ever briefed your clients about RT? if yes please specify what had you briefed and if not why?
• Any Suggestion or feedback
• Complains Regarding guides on trek.
1. While you get to your lodges/guesthouse do introduce with the family members to your clients.
2. Do introduce your clients with their rooms, bathroom, dinning etc.
3. Please follow your itinerary. (not strictly)
4. Please give first priority to your clients rather than to your friends.
5. Show the interesting places on the trail and let them know about it.
6. About foods
7. Be punctual on time.
9. Guides should take the fully responsibility of the porters until the trek ends if the porter wants to quit the trek before, solve the problems among you not with clients.